Koide Cymbals: elite instruments from Japan & you saw them here, first

Koide Cymbals, Osaka Japan, elite quality

One of several prototypes I'm evaluating

Koide Cymbals…not exactly common in the western world. They exude quality. And they are ornery instruments. For one thing, without the exception of the hi-hats I received (thank you Mr Koide, and Satoko, for your flattery and trust in sending me seven prototypes), they are heavier than one expects from cymbals these days. I have learned enormously, just from lifting them out of the shipping crate…but especially the morning after their first gig-out.

Frankly, in several instances I did double-takes. They are heavy but they play emphatically light. More on this later. The alloy for all intents and purposes is B20. But I’ll place money on it being something else and not something under-20, either. The particularly hard surface and “tight” surface tension (I’m giving perceptions gained from a single day’s use) result in a beautiful, clean tip tone that projects without stinging.  If that sounds flakey, well, that’s how I feel today. First thing I wake up (a drummer thing, reminds me of a line from Robin Williams about Mr Happy waking up first and the cat…well, you had to be there) I’m thinking of the startling immediate response and full tone, unprecedented in my experience, which resulted when I used a crash, and also, for fun, a crash-ride, as my chief ride.

It’s a little too much for me to comprehend at this moment. I’m going to give Mike Dawson, my editor at Modern Drummer, a ring tomorrow. Although at present Koide cymbals have no North American distributor, which is the reason you haven’t seen them or possibly heard about them, I think western drummers ought to know that Mr Koide, a man who used to spin timpani bowls out of flat sheets of copper (for Sakae/Yamaha, Osaka), is making forays into places I didn’t know were places, the alloy being just one. The hammering is…let’s wait a moment or week or whatever it takes.

I’m so flattered; did I say this already? What were the chances? I’d talked to Mr Koide, thanks to Satoko Koide’s translation interventions, for a year or so but to open a crate containing prototypes….you can imagine my utter amazement. More later.